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Ross leaves PC World behind for Filtered Media

By Phil Sim in Media News on
IDG’s PC World is on the lookout for a new editor, with Nick Ross’ long and colourful career as a technology journalist winding up next month as he becomes the latest hack to flip across into content marketing.
Ross will join Filtered Media, the content marketing firm founded by another former technology journalist Mark Jones, in four weeks time.
“It’s sad to be leaving journalism, but I’m looking forward to doing something different”, Ross told Influencing.
Because as Ross points out, technology journalism has “been my life” for the last 15 years. Ross arrived in Australia from the UK in 2005 to take on the role of editor of PC Authority, before embarking on a number of considerable challenges. These included founding his own digital magazine publishing entity, launching a tech-focused site on the ABC network, taking over the PC World editorship and having a crack at a publishing-tech start-up.
And while his new role in content marketing, is certainly another change-up, he doesn’t believe it will be all that different to the work he has been doing at PC World.
“What I’ve been doing for the past year and a half, has pretty much been content marketing, SEO optimisation with a bit of journalism mixed in,” he said.
“So really I’ll be doing much the same thing, just for private companies.”
Ross points out that his most recent job description, shows just how much the world of journalism has changed over the last decade.
“A lot of what I do now is marketing content, so as it comes on top of Google,” he said. “A huge proportion of publisher’s traffic these days comes from Google so if you’re going to write a review you’ve also got to know how to get it to the top of Google.”
Ross said he was attracted to working at Filtered, in particular, because he felt that CEO Mark Jones “gets the whole media landscape is changing weekly,” and with the gradual decline in the journalism ranks he feels that content marketing can only increase its share of the marketing pie

Not that Ross hasn’t given his best, at trying to do something positive for the publishing sector. For the past couple of years, Ross has been trying to launch a micro-payment start-up called Nanotransactions that would let readers pay tiny amounts based on factors like the amount of time they spent on a site. However, like his journalism career, Nanotransactions is being shelved for the moment.
That was result of being “badly let down” by his technical partners that had promised to build out the service, but had failed to get the product to launch.
“It was meant to be four weeks of work away from launch in March last year. By October, I was saying to them “where is it”? In the meantime, I’d been offered trials with publications in Australia like the SMH, and one large overseas player, and everyone was “sounds great, show it to us, and we’re interested”.

“But they just never delivered, so I’ve cut them loose and stopped it for now.”
Certainly Ross’s career has had its high and lows, probably more so than most. He said he was immensely proud, in the first instance, at reversing declining circulation at PC Authority, the role his journalism played in the battle against video game classification, as well as his epic NBN pieces, which were the centre of so much attention — both good and bad.
The bad, of course, were accusations that as a journalist at a public broadcaster, Ross wasn’t fulfilling his role of writing objectively about the project. That turned into a Media Watch controversy that even roped in now-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It’s an experience Ross described as “incredibly hurtful”.
“I learnt a lot about stress, anxiety and depression when Media Watched lied about that, and it was certainly the biggest low point of my career, and I don’t think I can ever forgive them,” Ross said. “However, I’m glad I was able to leave the ABC with my integrity intact.”
Ross hasn’t ruled out a return to journalism at some point down the track, but equally it’s not something he’s giving any active consideration to. He’ll remain at PC World for the next four weeks, where he’ll be focused on getting whoever takes over the position, trained up for the role.

“There aren’t too many reviewers out there with a lot of SEO experience, so the sooner we can get someone on board, the more help I can give them brushing up their skills in that area,” he said.
The position involves overseeing IDG’s two B2C mastheads, PC World and Good Gear Guide, with requirements as follows: 
  • Proven ability to review technology products.
  • An understanding of SEO and how to create content that is fundamentally justified by the Google-related traffic it brings in.
  • Ability to self-edit and publish grammatically-correct content without any other proof reading.
  • Be able to work with the commercial team, helping generate leads and building industry relationships without compromising editorial integrity.
  • Have a strong relationship with Australian technology industry and PR.
  • Ability to commission and edit third-party-written content.
  • Ability to write separate advertorial and custom content for the publisher and their clients.
  • Have moderate photography skills including editing.
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics.
  • Be able to work with a multimedia-rich Content Management System.

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Ryan named HIT 106.9 breakfast executive producer

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on
The HIT Network has appointed Alex Ryan as the new executive producer for HIT 106.9 Newcastle breakfast show Nick, Jess and Ducko, effective next month, reported Radiotoday.

She will succeed Sophie Campbell.

Ryan recently exited ARN after a year as casual producer, and was a weekend announcer at NEWFM.

Follow Ryan on LinkedIn.

Travel + Luxury goes bimonthly

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on
The Australian’s Travel + Luxury lifestyle insert will move from a quarterly to bimonthly publication, starting January 2022.  

News Corp Australia editorial director of premium food and travel Kerrie McCallum said people’s desires to travel again after the pandemic warranted an increase in content production from four issues to six. 

“People are dreaming of the time that travel will be a reality again and are seeking inspiration and visual stimulation. The world is in flux, but one thing is certain: our desire to travel never dissipates. As the post-pandemic era gradually takes shape, it’s apparent that discerning travellers are seeking more meaningful experiences than ever before,” she said. 

Established earlier this year, Travel + Luxury has become a staple amongst The Australian readers for large-format presentation of interesting destinations and adventures. Issue No 3 (pictured), in particular covers 50 notable figures in the travel industry, as well as a resurge

Coombes-Pearce up for Triple M Central Coast workdays

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on
Triple M Central Coast 107.7FM has tapped Justin Coombes-Pearce as the new workday announcer, effective 21 September. 

He has just finished up eight years at i98FM in Wollongong, where he was afternoon/evenings presenter and produced the Marty & Bianca Breakfast Show with Bianca Dye and Marty Haynes. He also runs a podcast with his wife Christy Hayes.

“I am absolutely stoked to join the Triple M family and to be able to do it on the Central Coast is a double win for me – what an amazing place to live,” said Coombes-Pearce.

Tune in to Coombes-Pearce on LinkedIn.

Leary joins News Corp Australia

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on
News Corp Australia has welcomed Pippa Leary as the new managing director for client product.

Under the senior leadership team, she will be in charge of developing the conglomerate’s new business solutions offering, with collaborations from the client sales division. 

Leary wields over 25 years in the media and innovations sector. She previously ran network services and sales at Nine, managed the former Fairfax Media’s metro strategy and market insights arm, and recently, CEO of Swift Media, where she has transitioned to a non-executive director role.

Current Swift CFO Brian Mangano will succeed Leary.

“I’ve known Pippa for a long time and know she really shares our vision for what we can achieve on behalf of our clients. It’s wonderful to have someone of Pippa’s breadth of experience, talent and passion to be joining us,” said News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller.

Follow Leary on LinkedIn.

Getting into NewsCorp’s tech sections

By Elliott Richardson in Media News on


Joining Influencing Insider on Wednesday 15 September was NewsCorp’s national technology editor Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson, who explained the best ways to pitch stories and the topics she’s interested in.
Fresh off a 3a.m. wake up, Dudley-Nicholson explained that it’s best for those wishing to land in one of NewsCorp’s many publications, to avoid sending releases or pitches on the same day as an Apple or other large technology company launch.
“The schedule sometimes gets packed and my advice is definitely don't launch something on the same day Apple is launching something because everything fills up quite quickly. I try to block time off around those big events to make sure that I can see them and make sure I have enough time to devote to them,” she said.
Outside of straight product launches, she’s interested in almost anything that connects to the internet, although there are some occasions where a colleague

BuzzFeed Australia rolls out Bloom vertical

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on
BuzzFeed Australia has unveiled a new women’s content portal called Bloom.

The new vertical aims to explore topics related to millennial and GenZ women, such as female gamers and financial security. The content will be produced through new YouTube videos and columns on the website and official social media channels. 

Content producer Hameda Nafiz will work her own advice column called Help Me Hameda, tackling sexual health, relationships, healthcare, and identity.

Samsung, Showpo, McCormick, and Australian Pork have signed on as sponsors.

“This has been something the team has wanted to do for so long, having seen a gap in the market, and we’re so pleased we have a product that will speak to so many, in such an intimate and friendly way. Each of our four launch partners are incredibly valuable to us and we’re excited to help them speak to new audiences,” said BuzzFeed APAC chief Nicki Williams.

SCA taps news and info chief

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has hired Melanie Withnall as its new head of news and information, effective 15 November.

She will oversee the content and growth strategies for SCA’s broadcast and on-demand news services, including the news, information, and current affairs portfolio on LiSTNR, and across HIT and Triple M.

Withnall is coming from ABC, where she served as manager of ABC Radio Sydney. She also worked at 2UE, 2GB and 2SER, and formerly sat on the CBAA board. 

“I am really excited to be joining SCA at such an exciting time, with news and information more important than ever and an important pillar on Hit, Triple M and LiSTNR.  I look forward to finding SCA’s unique voice in the market and working with such a great team,” said Withnall.

Follow Withnall on LinkedIn.

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